Lyndhurst Martial Arts School promotes 16

Lyndhurst Martial Arts School promotes 16

Lyndhurst Martial Arts School promotes 16! The Savarese Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, a Lyndhurst Martial arts school, promoted 16 students recently. The Park Ave Academy is known as one of the best BJJ schools, not only in the state of NJ, but the USA. Led by Professor Chris Savarese, whose lineage goes directly to the arts founders as he was promoted by Royler Gracie ( ). The Academy has gained a great reputation throughout the county and state and in martial arts circles.

The promotees:

Congrats to all of the following who received promotions recently, we haven’t updated in awhile:

Danny ‘Newskin” Lleonart- brownbelt 4th stripe

Anthony Del Guercio-brownbelt 4th stripe

Casey Walters- brownbelt 2nd stripe

Babatunde Ojo-bluebelt 1st stripe

Maria “Foofie” Villa- bluebelt 1st stripe

Kevin Wilton-whitebelt 1st stripe

Dave “the Rave” Veloso-whitebelt 2nd stripe

Djendy Denot- whitebelt 3rd stripe

Pete Valdivia-whitebelt 2nd stripe

Donna Valdivia-whitebelt 2nd stripe

Jenn Roldon-whitebelt 1st stripe

Carlos Aviles-whitebelt 1st stripe

Kristina Mastroeni-whitebelt 2 stripe

Maria Beltran-whitebelt 2nd stripe

Gaby Rivera-Yellowbelt

Kayla Zeppetelli-Orangebelt

All the instructors at Savarese BJJ are proud of all of you. It takes guts to try something new, and stick with it when it is hard.

Want to try BJJ?

Anyone who wants to try a free Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, call 201 933-5134 to set one up at your convenience. There are classes for men, women and children and for all ages. You do not have to be in shape to join, it is our job to get you there. And that we will do! That is a promise! Our Lyndhurst Martial Arts school just promoted 16 students, you will be one of them!



Parent Coaching Only Hurts, It Never Helps

Parent Coaching Only Hurts, It Never Helps

To be extremely honest, parent coaching only hurts it never helps. From an instructors perspective, the moment a child looks to their parent for guidance in a sport or activity, and not their coach or instructor the child has started to become un-coachable. Their are very few instances where this is not the case, however, most times it is. Using Jiu-Jitsu as an example. There are parents who have never put on a gi, taken a class or drilled a technique. Now, this may be difficult to hear, but it is true. With 100% certainty, I can tell you that you are not qualified to coach your child. You are not helping them in any way.  In fact, for a BJJ perspective, you are hurting them. Your child needs to have total reliance on the guidance of his or her instructor. Especially in the beginning.

Allow the instructor to do their job

Pretty much every parent wants their child to receive the most attention. It is natural and that is OK. However, understand that there is more than one child in the class and the beginner students need the most attention. If you child has been involved in an activity for a long period of time, they more than likely do not need constant hovering. Allow them to try and make mistakes, a good instructor will always do this. If you expect the instructor to physically perform the tasks for your child again, that would only hurt them and not help. Unless you are a trained professional in that field (i.e Jiu-Jitsu, Gymnastics, Baseball etc.) do not try to intervene. You do not know more than their coach. Do not try to tell the instructor how to instruct or what you think they should be teaching.

Trust in the process

Yes, there is a process. There is no magic wand that can be waived over your child and make them great. Sorry to tell you this, but they are going to have put in the work. There will always be instances where a child is a bit more gifted than others. These are the children that will be put into more advanced programs and make progress a bit faster. That does not mean your child is or isn’t better than the others. Your child’s instructor will guide them through their journey. They may not always hold their hand, and that is sometimes needed. This is all by design.

Set the right example

This part is specifically for BJJ. An example of “why parent coaching only hurts”, is celebrating “wins” and showing disappointment in “losses” during training.  No one wins or loses in the academy, our mindset is ‘win or learn”. Furthermore, sometimes it is better to lose in the beginning, you learn more. Having that mindset of counting your child’s “wins” and losses” in the Academy isn’t beneficial to anyone. The Academy is the lab where you have to try new things in order to evolve and get better. If your child is scared to “lose”, it will hinder their development. You are not helping your child, you are giving them a complex. They need to understand it is training, we as Martial Artists have good days and bad. If you have a genuine concern for their progress, email the instructor after class and set up a meeting.

Behaviors are mimicked

Your child mimics your behaviors, no doubt about it. Therefore, if you show no respect towards the instructors and staff of where your child is enrolled, they won’t either. Make sure you use proper titles of the instructors and demonstrate proper etiquette when in the facility. These are trained professionals in which you have entrusted your child to. Do not talk to them like they are your best friend (even if they are) when class is going on. Show your child how to respect those in higher position then them.

In conclusion, the above article covers just a few reasons why  parent coaching only hurts it never helps.

The Roles of a Youth Martial Arts Instructor

Teach your child how to lose

Our loses in sports or martial arts become life lessons

Savarese Jiu-Jitsu Big Apple Open 2017 results

Savarese Jiu-Jitsu Big Apple Open 2017 results

So proud of our competition team today. We had 4 guys enter the Big Apple BJJ Open today, one of the best and toughest tournaments on the East Coast every year w/ competitors from many of the best teams in NY, NJ, Long Island, Penn, Del and MD. All 4 medaled led by 17 yr old Leo Alves who won his men’s bluebelt division, submitting all of his opponents in under 2 minutes.

Leo Alves shines

Congrats to Leo Alves on taking the Silver medal in the bluebelt Absolute (no weight limit) division at the Big Apple BJJ Open, winning 3 more matches by submission in under a minute and a half before losing in the finals to Luciano Alfonso from the Emirates Jiu Jitsu Center Barcelona, who took the silver medal in his class at the World Championship last year. It was a great test for Leo before the Worlds. Leo finished a spectacular day, finishing 7-1 on the day, all his wins coming by submission in less than 2 minutes.

Brian Procel has great day too

Also, a great showing by Brian Procel who took 2nd place in a stacked brownbelt division that had over 17 competitors in it. I believe it was Brian’s best showing since the World Championships last year. Procel went on the try the Absolute (no eight limit) division and did well there too, finishing in 3rd place.


Congrats to Sean Yadimarco, who took 3rd place in his men’s bluebelt division, losing to the eventual champ in a close match. And finally big congrats to Josh Gonzalez, who competed in his first tournament today and took 3rd place in his white belt division. To enter this tourn with 4 and all 4 medal is a great accomplishment. Congrats guys, proud of you! Oh, I also want to mention that all the guys on my competition team are 100% PED FREE!

Jiu-Jitsu Legend teaches in Lyndhurst NJ

Jiu-Jitsu Legend teaches in Lyndhurst NJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Royler Graciewas the guest teacher in Lyndhurst NJ Academy Savarese BJJ on friday. The 4x World BJJ champion is the son of Gracie Jiu Jitsu Grandmaster and founder Helio Gracie. Royler is not only a legend in jiu jitsu, having been the first “King of BJJ’s Featherweight Division” setting the record of world championships at the time. But he also is world reknown in the submission wrestling world, where he won the prestigeous ADCC Submission Wrestling tournament 3 years in a row from 1999-2001 without having a single point scored on him. Gracie also fought in mixed martial arts (MMA) in numerous promotion throughout the world before ending his career in 2006.

One of BJJ’s best instructors

Professor Chris Savarese, the Academy owner and head instructor, received his blackbelt from Gracie in 2008. He considers Royler Gracie to be one of the best instructors in the world. In addition to being a world class competitor (one of the best ever) on the sport side of jiu-jitsu, he is one of the world’s leading experts in the self defense side. Furthermore, he  has excelled as an instructor, leading the Gracie Humaitá academy in Rio de Janeiro. This Academy is where the likes of Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, Vinny Magalhaes, “Megaton” Dias, Omar Salum, Renato Barreto and many others were developed.

Great night at the Academy

Savarese wanted to thank Master Royler Gracie for putting on an incredible Jiu-Jitsu seminar tonight at the Academy. His ability to break down the simplest fighting techniques and principles in a way that everyone benefits from the new students to the blackbelts is unmatched. Everyone learns so much as a practitioners every time he is here. Even the energy he brings inspires us to do better every class. The self-defense techniques were easy to learn, easy to execute and very street applicable. Everyone who came tonight is much better than they were when they walked through the door. Also, thank you to David Adiv, Angelica Oliveira and Brian O’Leary for coming down to help as well. OSS.


Change Your Attitude!

Change Your Attitude!

Change Your Attitude! is something I have wanted to scream from the rooftops lately. I have spoken to all forms of people in my life late about various subjects. From co-workers to students to friends to parents to just people on Facebook, I noticed a simple thing about many. A lot of the people where quick to vent about their problems, believing there was no end in sight. In addition, there was a common belief that people were stuck in this negative cycle. Furthermore, there was anger in their voice and their voice level was raised.

There is a solution

One of my favorite motivational speakers, Jim Rohn, used to have a saying “If you don’t like where you are, change it! You’re not a tree!”. So many people are quick to judge people who try to stay positive or post positive quotes on social media. People who believe in the power of positivity are labeled at times as “phony”. But it is a mindset. So many problems of the people I listened to could be changed with a simple attitude adjustment. Just looking at the same problem in a different, positive manner can make a different in your demeanor, how others see you, and how often others want to be in your presence.

Challenge yourself

I have a challenge for you. Try 1 week without complaining about anything, just be grateful from what you DO have. If you have a negative friend, stay away from them for that week. Just being around negativity will force you to be negative. Someone complaining to you will allow you to complain back. Remove yourself from situations like that for 1 week and watch your life change for the better. Use the Gary Vee (another excellent motivational speaker) method. Remove 1 negative friend from your life and replace him/her with a positive one. I guarantee you will feel better about yourself.

The many rule sets of BJJ

The many rule sets of BJJ

One of the biggest problems of the jiu-jitsu tournament scene is the many rule sets of BJJ. When I started BJJ over 20 years ago, there was only a handful of tournaments in the US. There was the big ones, the World Championships (Mundial) and the Pan Ams. Grapplers Quest and Naga had tournaments on both coasts for the every day grapplers and BJJ practitioner. There was the Joe Moreira Challenge out west. The East Coast had the NYC Grappling Challenge with the USGA later to follow. The rules back then, with the exception of NAGA, were similar. The goal back then was to find 1 uniformed set of rules for everyone to follow.


The World Championship of BJJ have been around forever and under different names. The started gaining worldwide recognition around 1993 and then formally began being called the World Championships (Mundial) in 1996. Around 2002, Carlos Gracie formed the IBJJF ( the intention of getting everyone on the same page for tournaments and getting everyone under 1 rule set. The IBJJF has failed jiu-jitsu in my opinion in accomplishing this for many reasons. Greed, lack of respect for no-gi competitors, basically shutting out the East Coast by having every major event in California where competitors from Brazil and the East Coast can’t compete without gaining a sponsor to put up thousands of dollars are just some of the reasons. But money is at the top of the list


Today we seem to be heading backwards towards this goal with more and more events, each with their own rule set and flaws. Our biggest competitions are still IBJJF events, Abu Dhabi Combat Championship (ADCC), the newly formed Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI), Fight To Win, as well as NAGA still being around and the many local tournaments everywhere, where on the East Coast they seem to be almost every weekend.

Rule Sets

Each has different rule sets, some very, very different. There are point tournaments with time limits being the most active. Then, there are submission only events with very different sets of rules, some no pints, no time limit (true sub only), EBI is sub only w a time limit w OT started in certain positions, FTW is sub only with only submission or near submission attempts being the way to win, and ADCC with its own set with no points for a certain time-frame, then pints for a time frame. I personally like them all.


The problem without having 1 uniformed set of rules is we will never find out who the “king of the hill” really is. Everyone now seems to only want to fight where they are best. Gi, no-gi, true sub only, EBI rules, FTW rules etc. There are too many options available. I truly believe there are guys who would beat the same opponent 10 out of 10 times under 1 rule set and lose to that same opponent under a different rule set 10 out of 10 times. We seem to be getting further and further away from one set of rules to unify us all. But I still hope that 1 day that is the case.

Savarese BJJ’s Leo Alves dominates at Fight To Win 30

Savarese BJJ’s Leo Alves dominates at Fight To Win 30

Savarese BJJ’s Leo Alves dominated at Fight To Win 30. The North Arlington High School student stepped up onto the big stage of competition in Bayville NJ, last weekend. Alves won his match in just 53 seconds. Most noteworthy, it was the 17 yr old bluebelt’s first taste of “superfight status” matches.

Top competitor

Alves is one of the top competitors on the Savarese Jiu-Jitsu Competition Team, one of the top competition teams in NJ. “Cabra”, as he is known in the Academy, has won many titles over the past 2 years, his biggest being the No-Gi Pan Am Champion. He has also won titles in IBJJF tournaments, The NJBJJF, NAGA, Grapplers Quest, Good Fight, Big Apple Open, Pride BJJ among others. Many of the titles came in men’s divisions despite him being 15-17 yrs old when they were won.

Words from his Professor

His instructor, 2nd degree blackbelt Professor Chris Savarese, thinks the world of Leo. “Cabra is an awesome and grounded kid. Humility is important here and Leo has it in spades and he is a hard working kid who understands at an early age what is right and wrong and expects nothing from anyone, he is not an entitled kid. His future is as bright as he wants it. There is an extremely solid group of teens who push each other, compete together and are successful in a large part because of each other. Tremendous kids.”

Leo says thanks

Leo thanked his teammates. ” Yesterday was special to me. I made my first professional debut in jiu jitsu at the F2W Pro 30, and had a great experience. I was able to get the omoplata in a little over a minute. Thank you so much to my coaches Professor Savarese and Sean Bermudez and everyone who trained with me for the last month leading up to the fight. Also congrats to my two teammates Brian and Anthony, I was so moved by the way you guys fought. Also a big shout out to everyone who came to support. There is nothing like being able to represent our school in front of so many people. Having you guys there cheer me and the guys on was a great experience. Finally, thank you to Seth Daniels for the great opportunity, I look forward to doing future events with you guys.

Whats next?

Alves will be competing in the IBJJF World Championship in June at the Pyramid at University Cal Long Beach. Best of luck Leo!

Leo omoplata

Savarese BJJ's Leo Alves dominates at Fight To Win 30

Savarese BJJ’s Leo Alves dominates at Fight To Win 30

Savarese BJJ's Leo Alves dominates at Fight To Win 30

Savarese BJJ’s Leo Alves dominates at Fight To Win 30

Leo walkout

Lyndhurst Martial Arts Competition team shines again

Lyndhurst Martial Arts Competition team shines again

Congrats to our Savarese BJJ competition members who competed in NAGA today and crushed it. It was the second time in 2 weeks that the Lyndhurst Martial Arts competition team shined. Last week, they shined at the NY Open at CCNY.

One of our best

Sean Yadimarco is known as The Beast in the Academy. One of our top competitors, Sean has been winning mens division since he was 16 yrs old. This weekend, he took home Gold in his men’s bluebelt division, winning 4 matches in the process. Yadimarco is gearing up for the World BJJ Championships in CA in June at Walter Pyramid – CSU Long Beach.

Killer Kayla

Our 14 yr old killer, Kayla Zeppetelli, took gold in her teens no-gi division, then stepped up and won the women’s white belt division, beating a 25 yr old women in the process. She then stepped up and took bronze in the women’s BLUEBELT division, competing amongst women.
Congrats also to Ivette Ponte, who took Gold in her Whitebelt division and silver in the absolute, stepped up and fought in the bluebelt masters division and took gold there as well. Awesome day Ivette.
Finally, congrats to Ariana Zeppetelli and Maria “Foofie” Villa for both earning silver medals today. Great job everyone, proud of you all!

BJJ Competitions : put yourself in position to succeed

BJJ Competitions : put yourself in position to succeed

I am have been going to BJJ Competitions since 1995. My first one, the NYC Grappling Challenge, got me hooked on competition. I went on to compete in many tournaments over the next 10 year and have been viewing and coaching my students and friends students at many others. There seems to be a common mistake that many make that I wanted to get into in today’s blog….you must put yourself in position to succeed.

What does that mean?

First and for foremost, if you are going to compete and want to be successful, you have to go to class and train for the competition! This should go without saying but you’d be surprised at how many people will train 2-3 in the month preceding their competition and expect to win. Furthermore, they get upset when they lose. It is hard for your training partners to get behind you if you aren’t showing respect for the competition, your team and yourself. In addition, you are spitting on the success of your Academy’s competition team if it is a successful one. We use a saying at my Academy “Don’t be upset of the results you didn’t get from work you didn’t put in.”

Practice makes perfect

We ask all of our competitors to decided they are competing 4-5 weeks before the competition. This ensures that they have enough time to put in the proper training. Whatever you are going to do in competition, you must first do it training. It must be drilled over and over in different scenarios. You will compete like you practice. Therefore, if you train lazy, you will compete lazy. If you want to perform technically and tactically well in competitions, you better get that technique and those tactics down in training first. The same holds true for every other aspect of your training camp, even the mental preparation. I have never seen a person enter a tournament last minute and win. Be prepared

Other tips:

As we get closer to the tournament, one of your biggest goals is to be as prepared as you can be to perform your best. Put everything in place to get prepared. These will include:

  • Good night’s sleep
  • Nutritious pre-competitive meal
  • Knowing all the rules
  • Review technique, tactics, and game plan
  • Warming up properly and breaking a sweat
  • Having nutritious foods in case tournament run late

Savarese BJJ Etiquette Guidelines

There are a lot of new members in the school so I wanted to re-post our Etiquette Guidelines.

Academy Etiquette Guidelines

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academies tend to teach in a more relaxed and less rigid atmosphere than traditional martial arts. Nonetheless, in order to maintain a positive environment that is both conductive to learning and welcoming to potential students, we require our students, parents of students in the kid’s classes, and staff to adhere to the following Academy Etiquette Guidelines:

1) Always show respect to your instructors, training partners, and fellow human beings. Respect in training means: do not seek to harm fellow students physically (i.e. by cranking a submission harder than necessary to make them tap) or emotionally (i.e. by calling them names or making jokes about hurting them). Respect also means that you must train seriously and hard enough for you and your partner to improve his or her skills, conditioning, and fighting spirit. Not giving your best during training detracts from both you and your partner’s experience. Respect is earned not given. If you come in acting like a fool you will be treated as such. No matter what belt you are.

2) Maintain good hygiene (i.e. shower and brush your teeth regularly). As you can imagine, it’s difficult to concentrate on technique when you find your partner’s smells distracting! Bring a clean, dry Gi to each class. Wash your Gi’s and rash guards after every class!! No exceptions! You will not be permitted to train if your Gi’s and rash guards are not clean. Clean and cover all wounds, scrapes, etc. This is how we prevent MRSA and ringworm. Also, you will not be permitted to participate in class if you have any contagious skin conditions.

3) Keep your finger and toe nails short and clean to prevent injury to yourself and others.

4) It is disrespectful to be late to class. If you have an understanding with your instructor because of you schedule to be late, do not distract him or the other students while he is showing a move. Quietly stand by the entrance until your instructor is done, then proceed to the locker room.

5) Barefoot on the mat only! Keep shoes off the mat so that we can keep the mat clean and sanitary. Do not step off the mat with bare feet. You must wear flip-flops, sandals, sneakers, etc. while not on the mat and when entering and leaving the restroom.

6) Do not walk outside with bare feet. If you have to go outside, wear sandals or shoes. Items (5) and (6) are especially important to prevent the spread of skin conditions such as ringworm.

7) Do not shout loudly or use profanity in the Academy. Treat your Academies as if they are sacred. This should go without saying.

8) Do not talk while the instructor is talking. It distracts those who are trying to learn and is disrespectful to the instructor and other students.

9) It is disrespectful not to wear your belt in class. Your rank was given to you by your instructor. Wear it with pride. If your belt falls off, tie it back on.

10) Please wear your Gi, a t-shirt, or a tank top while in the public areas of the Academy. No bare backs! Please change in the locker room and leave your belongings in the locker area. Try to keep the mat area clean for possible new students who may want to join our Academy.

11) Do not leave the mat during class without the instructor’s permission.

12) No cell phones in the training (unless you have a pregnant wife) They will distract those who are trying to learn. This goes for parents watching the class as well.

13) If the instructor has not changed the task, then continue doing the task he or she has given (i.e. don’t sit around talking because you feel you have done a technique enough times). You can NEVER do a technique too many times!!

14) “Respect Rank!!” It is disrespectful to ask an instructor or a higher rank to train with you, so wait until they ask you to roll. If you want to ask a higher rank to train, do it in a humble, respectful manner like “can I have the honor to train with you?” or “do you feel like throwing me around a little bit?” Sav and Sean are to be addressed as “Professor” at all times in the Academy. It is his rank and he should be addressed as such. Please do not refer to the teacher as bro, dude, brother,. All lower belts should speak and act respectfully to anyone ranked higher than them. Also if you are sparring next to someone who has a higher belt rank than you or your partner, then you and your partner must move and yield the space to the higher belt rank (meaning if you bump into each other during training, lower belt moves). The Academy is not a locker room, fun is to be had, but respect must be maintained for higher ranks.

15) Always bow, bump fists or shake hands before live training or sparring.

16) When classes are crowded, students will sometimes bump into each other when sparring. Take special care to be aware of your surroundings and stop sparring if you are too close to other students. Finishing an armbar is not worth it if your opponent is going to land on your other teammates head. You wouldn’t want someone to land on your head just because they were set on “getting the tap” from someone else.

17) In addition, much of what we practice routinely with each other will seriously injure others. It should not be practiced outside of the Academy.

18) White Gi’s only!

19) Keep your excuses at home. Excuse making is cancerous and not welcome on our mats or in our school.

20) No racist or sexist comments or actions or disrespect towards an instructor WILL EVER BE TOLERATED. You will be expelled from the Academy.